Sharing joy and knowledge from an ordinary life

#TESFEAwards and #LFE15

At the end of an incredibly long week way back in February (!) came the #tesfeawards. It was a wonderful night to celebrate all that further education does for learners: Young and old(er) alike. I think it is perhaps the only time in my life so far that I have been to an event that has celebrated the achievements of the further all. It was seriously uplifting and emotional to hear all the stories of the nominees and winners.

It was also an opportunity to get dressed up and that’s always fun:




The next day offered up #LFE15. We had a very lazy breakfast putting the world to rights and then headed off for a day of learning!

It could be said that I was well beyond excited for the chance to attend a workshop on ‘the greatest CPD, ever!’ Unfortunately, it was not even close to meeting my expectations and was perhaps some of the worst CPD I’ve ever been to! I’m sad to say that my day didn’t get much better but my sketchnotes can help to explain some of the ideas/thoughts I had on the day!



I’m afraid it was at this moment where’s worrying message was shared- the red was my anger emerging…  

The number of question marks indicate how baffled I felt at David Didau’s remarks that teachers shouldn’t be researchers until things have been tested out in laboratory-style conditions instead. I’m not overly convinced of the reliability of this when classrooms and all their complexities are nothing like labs!

David did redeem himself with this though…      
These were my frustrations as I entered the next workshop:

 The next workshop I entered was related to wellbeing and I left with a few gems of advice. I was concerned that all of the advice was being delivered by no full-time teachers and most of it by a lady who got so ill from her job as a teacher that she left the profession. She wasn’t applying the advice she was giving to us. A highlight was meeting @MartynReah, of #teacher5aday at the end of the workshop.








I then went to a debate about trust in education.


I loved Bernard’s perspective on things!



As might often be the case, the learners were the true stars of the show and it was the only point that I felt had a really positive vibe to it of the whole day. I did enjoy the poetry from @montygristo as I’ve admired him for a while now but some of the other poetry gave more of a negative perspective on the current education system.

Must of the lack of inspiration I experienced on the day may have been due to the fact that not once was I in a workshop lead by a full-time teacher.

I’m afraid that I’m still wondering when I’ll go to a conference where people’s eyes won’t look questioningly at me when I mention ‘FE.’ When they won’t ask me if I belong to a ‘chain of academies.’ In what world does that equate to ‘further education’? And no, it’s not just the place you send the learners who have ‘outgrown school’. You might find some of these articles interesting– especially the ones about our adult funding being slashed by 25% this year. I’m hoping I go to a conference one day where no-one will ask me what ‘FE’ is. I just hope it it won’t be because it no longer exists.

My writing commitment: I’m learning to honour my thoughts. I’m learning that my words can be shared before I’ve connected all the dots or learned everything there is to know. My writing can be a snapshot of a single moment in continually-evolving time.

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